Rossland Reads round one
Rossland Reads kicked off its reading and debating extravaganza this past Wednesday at Café Books West with a lively panel and near full house in attendance.
Taking a note from CBC’s popular Canada Reads program, Rossland Reads, organized by Carey Rudisil and the Rossland Library Board, has brought together three fine folks and one online newspaper editor to plead, discuss, banter, bicker and brag about why the book they chose to represent should be the inaugural Rossland Reads winner.
The evening, featuring Chris D’odorico of the Rossland Library Board (championing Michael Crummy’s Galore), Deanne Steven of Tourism Rossland (pushing Douglas Coupland’s Jpod), Christine Demarco of RSS (celebrating Kim Echlin’s The Disappeared) and myself, Andrew Zwicker (vaunting Lesley Choyce’s The Republic of Nothing) was a laugh-filled event replete with literary entertainment.
“We had a great night on week one for Rossland Reads,” commented Rudisil. “We were really happy to see lots of readers out.”
A crowd of roughly twenty people crammed into the middle section of the Café as the couch and lounge chairs were transformed into a stage for the four panelists and host to laud their book of choice.
Each panelist started by describing in general the story of the book they chose, what they liked about it, why they chose it, and where they were when they first read it. Answers ranging from summertime hammocks to mountain top cabins on a ski tour provided unique looks into the often personal world of the literary arts.
“The first week we got into the styles of the different types of writing. Perhaps this week we’ll be looking maybe at some things like how do we pick a book, how did the panelists pick a book that appeals to the most amount of people? Would the Kootenays pick a different type of book than the rest of Canada? We’ll find out this week,” added Rudisill.
One of the reasons Panelist Chris D’odorico has been enjoying the event so far has come directly out of the question of how do you normally pick a book to read. “I love a good book recommendation. I’ll sometimes look at the Best Sellers list but mostly I pick my books based on others’ recommendations. I picked my own book on a whim, but the other three books were great and all based on the recommendation of the other panelists. I’m not sure I would have picked up the other books otherwise, so that aspect of it has been really great.”
One of the benefits of bringing together a group of people to discuss a set group of books has been in how it really shines a light on reading and discussing books in general.
Deanne Steven has enjoyed the different perspectives offered by the different panelists as she noted, “I’m looking forward to getting a bit more in depth in some of the stories. It was nice to have the introduction of them all, but this week we’ll get into the real nitty gritty of it all. The cast of characters, as far as the panel is concerned, is very diverse. We all come from very different perspectives and chose books that are vastly different. That’s been a neat aspect of the event so far.”
At the end of the first hour-long session (which has been recorded by Rossland Radio and will air both on the Radio as well as being podcast on the Rossland Telegraph in coming weeks) the crowd was asked to vote off the island (or couch, as it were) their least favorite book. If you haven’t yet got your vote in there is still time to stop by Café Books West before the next installment of Rossland Reads this Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Same book-time, same book-location.
For those that didn’t make it out the first time around, Evening Two will start with a re-cap of the previous week, a re-introduction of each book as well as the results from week one. To find out which three books are moving on you’ll have to turn up.
If you’re a book lover or just a casual reader, there is something everyone can enjoy about the evening noted Rudisil who is glad to see the literary arts bringing people together over what can often be a solitary experience, particularly in the digital age
“Why should people come out? Well for one it’s good for chuckles. But seriously, it’s good to get out and have a literary arts and social night. It’s nice to have an evening where people can come out to talk about books. Part of the reason we started Rossland Reads at the library to highlight the amount of reading that is happening in Rossland and the writers here. It’s nice to celebrate reading and talking about it. In a time when everything has gone digital it’s nice to have a physical book in your hand and real people in front of you to talk to about it. There’s something about that that just feels good.”
To find out which book is going home first and to cast your ballot for the next book to be voted off, be sure to turn up at Café Book West at 7:00 PM for what promises to be a fun, social and perhaps even a slightly educational event.
Oh, and did we mention that last week we had champagne and chocolate?